Search Firms Tells 186 School Board It's Uniquely Political

Oct 18, 2013

District 186 needs to warn superintendent candidates of the highly political atmosphere that’s become business-as-usual for the Springfield school board.

That’s what the search firm the board hired to help find a new superintendent is telling them, based on feedback the firm gathered from members of the community and staff. 

Kent Johansen is with the firm School Exec Connect and said Thursday this is the least bipartisan board he’s worked with.“It came up time and time again," Johansen said.  "We snicker and we laugh, but this is unique to Springfield. We have not seen it in any other district - so [candidates] need to be aware.”

At a meeting October 10th, the search firm outlined the agenda for interviews and a list of priority qualities in candidates. Board member Judy Johnson ran with the issue of the board being highly political. “You can’t take the politics out of it - you said it yourself - we are a unique district in that politics play a big part," Johnson told a member of the search firm who suggested the board try not to politicize the search for a new superintendent. 

37 applicants will be narrowed down by the firm to about 6 for the board to consider in December. A community meeting will be part of the process after that number is lowered to 3 or fewer candidates by the board. The board chose December 12th to conclude interviews with finalists.